The Minnesota Swarm avoided a first half shutout in their contest against the Washington Stealth at Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash., but their offensive production continued to sputter in an 11-8 loss Sunday evening.
The Swarm (3-6) missed a huge chance to tighten up the West Divison standings, blanking on all three power play chances with no player accumulating more than three points. Callum Crawford was the only one to do so, getting two goals and an assist. Jordan MacIntosh scooped 11 loose balls.
There was no lack of opportunities for Minnesota, who performed superbly against Washington (6-4) face-off whiz Bob Snider, winning 13 of 23 total face-offs.
The Stealth's victory maintained their slim one-game lead in the division, a margin that becomes critical as the National Lacrosse League enters the second half of the regular season. Tyler Richards held up defensive responsibilities, stopping 43 of 51 shots for a save percentage of 84.2.
Athan Iannucci and Brett Bucktooth offered Washington's offensive showcase. Both players earned six points, including hat tricks. Iannucci recorded four goals and two assists, with Bucktooth credited for three goals and three assists.
Minnesota's only lead in the contest came in the first goal of regulation, when Kiel Matisz found the back of the net early in the first quarter.
The Swarm's undoing was the second period, getting out-scored 5-2 by the Stealth. Iannucci quickly amassed his hat trick with three goals in a span of 2:17 to open the quarter, helping Washington take a 7-3 lead at halftime.
Minnesota reeled the deficit back to two, when Crawford's goal late in the third left the score at 8-6, but they could not draw any closer.
The Swarm are barely clinging to a post-season berth, holding a half-game lead over the Colorado Mammoth. Minnesota has yet to win without captain Andrew Suitor in the lineup, who is out for the season with an ACL injury. Their road trip continues Friday, when they visit Calgary.